Blog

– shooting tips, tricks, and info from our instructors –

Welcome to what we hope will be a long series of blogs on the shotgun sports.  We venture into this online undertaking with the aim of piercing the veil that obscures some of the more technically complex aspects of shotgunning, sharing information and generating dialogue among the members of the shotgun sport fraternity.

Our head instructor, Luther Cutts (a Level 3 NSCA certified instructor), is continually working on a wide range of topics that we hope will contribute to the continued growth of clay target games as well as upland and waterfowl hunting.

We hope to have something for everyone – from the very basic parts of the game to some of the more complex and controversial topics.  We hope that you find these topics enjoyable, informative, thought provoking or perhaps just entertaining.  We welcome your feedback and ideas on what other topics you might want to see in the future.

OSP (Optimum Shotgun Performance) Training

OSP (Optimum Shotgun Performance) Training

Musings of the Rookie – Sharing the Journey Part 7 Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie Wowww…..! Can’t say how many times that was said over a couple days with Gil and Vicki Ash of the OSP Shooting school. Silver Willow brought them North from Houston, right here to Canada’s premier sporting clays venue. The OSP School

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Good Days & Bad Days

Good Days & Bad Days

Musings of the Rookie – Sharing the Journey Part 6 Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie If you are reading this, chances are you have at least shot clays once – maybe several times. Perhaps it is an all consuming addiction. Perhaps the addiction is so strong that when you can’t be at the range, you try

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The Federal 400 Shoot

The Federal 400 Shoot

Musings of the Rookie Part 6 Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie Well, I just finished the Federal 400 at Silver Willow and as the adrenaline fades, I’m too tired to mow the lawn {smirk} so it seems like a good opportunity to share the journey once more. As a bit of a spoiler, since I type

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Driven Pheasant Shooting

Driven Pheasant Shooting

Author:  Andrew Harvison, Fellow of the UK: Association of Professional Shooting Instructors  The history  I am not sure if a lot of people stop to think how this form of shooting came about. The key to understanding the history of the sport was the development of the shotgun, as driving game over a line of sportsmen

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Don’t Rush – or Be Rushed

Don’t Rush – or Be Rushed

Musings of the Rookie Part 5 Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie It started as such an incredible day – and as a spoiler, in the grand scheme of things, it ended as an incredible day as well. The blessing started with the weatherman, who provided (as you may recall) +13 °C in mid-January and just enough

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Timing

Timing

Timing of your mount and the release of the shot Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  This article is directed at the shooters who shoot from the low-gun position and mount the gun after seeing the target.  In this article I will discuss shooting from the low gun position and obtaining...

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Pre-Shot Routine

Pre-Shot Routine

Pre-Shot Routine Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  In the article Pre-Shot Planning, we discussed the concept and the benefits of planning your shots in advance. Properly done, you should be done your pre-shot planning before you step into the stand and prepare to call for the first...

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Pre-Shot Planning

Pre-Shot Planning

Pre-Shot Planning Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  As shooters progress and improve, most find that the actions they take before the call for the target have a significant impact on their success in breaking the target. I have heard it said that up to 75% of targets are lost before the shooter...

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Not All Advice Is Good Advice

Not All Advice Is Good Advice

Musings of the Rookie Part 4: Not All Advice Is Good Advice Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie When I was about 13, for some reason I would think about girls. As a matter of fact, at 13, it’s possible I was over-thinking girls. What should I wear to impress girls? What should I say to a

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Finding the Right Gun

Finding the Right Gun

Musings of the Rookie Part 3: Finding the Right Gun Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie In my first submission, I mentioned my old friend the 870 pump shotgun. I knew that sooner or later, I’d have to replace it – or at least clean it better.  🙂 That begs the eternal question of “What shotgun should

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Making a Plan

Making a Plan

Musings of the Rookie Part 2: Making a Plan Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie Last time, I talked about goal setting. It’s darn near impossible to achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are, but it’s often said that a goal without a plan, is just a wish. This is going to be a

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Setting Goals

Setting Goals

Musings of the Rookie Part 1: Setting Goals Author:  Rob Ridley, Rookie I’ve been a member at Silver Willow for a couple of years now.  I was hooked at a corporate shoot, and apparently, the Day family have not heard of barbless hooks because I can’t shake this one.  I started with a 25 year

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How to Care for Your Shotgun

How to Care for Your Shotgun

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  Care for a firearm is an important enough topic to warrant its own chapter in the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.  There are several reasons for this – proper care and maintenance will ensure the firearm is in good condition the next time it is put to...

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Starting Young Shooters Off Right

Starting Young Shooters Off Right

Starting Young Shooters Off Right Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  The future of any sport is almost always determined by the confluence of the continuous study and advancement of the techniques used in the sport as well as the introduction of new participants into the game. The future of the...

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Behind the Scenes at a Shooting Event

Behind the Scenes at a Shooting Event

Behind the Scenes: Some of the lesser-known aspects of hosting a registered competitive event Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor  Most of us roll in to the shoot grounds, visit with our friends, have fun shooting the course, enjoy a meal and some more visiting and then head for home. Unless you have...

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Hunting Etiquette

Hunting Etiquette

Etiquette in Hunting Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor Etiquette, or courteous behaviour, in the shooting sports is rooted in a desire to combine both safety and respect for fellow shooters. When everyone understands the fundamentals of etiquette, the enjoyment factor for the activity increases...

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Shooting Events at Silver Willow

Shooting Events at Silver Willow

What are the Different Shoots Held at Silver Willow? Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor We have recently been asked by an inquiring mind, about what our shoots mean. We will attempt to answer these questions and a few more. Our desire is that this article will provide for a better understanding of

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Sporting Clays Etiquette, Part 1

Sporting Clays Etiquette, Part 1

Etiquette in Sporting Clays Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor Most organized activities have some basic rules of conduct, and sporting clays is no different.  These conventions of behaviour, collectively referred to as etiquette, govern the respectful interactions between individuals. ...

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International Sporting

International Sporting

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor The game of International Sporting, commonly referred to as “FITASC”, is considered by many shooters to be the highest form of shotgun sport.  It is a game that is strictly controlled with very specific rules of conduct, both on the sporting field and off. ...

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Shotgun Selection

Shotgun Selection

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor Shotguns can be found in a bewildering range of types, designs, sizes and prices.  In this installment, we will examine the various types of shotguns commonly encountered in Canada. All shotguns found in Canada consist of three fundamental parts – the stock, the...

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Licensing and Firearms Paperwork

Licensing and Firearms Paperwork

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor In Canada, the ownership, use and possession of firearms and ammunition is primarily governed by two federal statutes – The Canadian Firearms Act and The Criminal Code, as well as the Regulations found under both of these pieces of legislation. There are three...

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Boobs, Buckles, and Bones

Boobs, Buckles, and Bones

Boobs, Buckles, and Bones: Challenges of a LadyGun Author:  Denean Tomlin, Silver Willow Instructor (NSCA Level 1), Competitor and LadyGun (@CalgaryLadyGuns) Growing up on a farm, I was exposed to guns, hunting and sport shooting at an early age. My first shooting experience was shooting bottle caps off of the bushes with a .22 rifle...

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Chokes

Chokes

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor The choke built into the muzzle of a shotgun is a feature that is unique to shotguns – generally speaking, it is not seen in either handguns or rifles[1].  The choke is designed to control the spread of the shot cloud as it leaves the barrel.  Properly

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Choosing an Instructor

Choosing an Instructor

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor What to look for in an Instructor The demand for instructors in the shotgun sports is constantly increasing.  It would appear that more and more people are recognizing the benefits of learning in a structured environment, and thereby advancing their shotgun skill...

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Shotshells

Shotshells

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor To the new shooter, the variety of shotgun ammunition available can be overwhelming.  There are so many different brands, and so many different combinations of shot size, payload and velocity that is can be troubling, even for the seasoned shooter. It is our hope...

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How to Hit a Moving Target

How to Hit a Moving Target

How to Hit a Moving Target: Forward Allowance Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor Perhaps the most discussed aspect of shotgun shooting is the manner in which a shooter establishes the forward allowance, or lead, required to hit a moving target.  Forward allowance is essentially how far in front of a...

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Ladies in the Shotgun Games

Ladies in the Shotgun Games

Author:  Luther Cutts, Head Instructor (NSCA Level 3), Competitor In the past few years, we have been witness to explosive growth of female participation in the shotgun sports.  While there have always been those more adventurous ladies who have participated in the various sports, the women in the sport today are more than...

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Rural Address: 30133 RR 20, Mountain View County
Mailing Address: Box 974, Carstairs, AB T0M 0N0

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Closed January 5-6, 2019.

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